Croatians Remember The Suffering and Victims of Communist Crimes

When the Associated Press publishes an article regarding WWII Croatia and other world mainstream media such as New York Times shares it, you can safely bet your bottom dollar an evidently anti-Croatian independence biased journalist of Serbian extraction wrote the article. And so, on 17 May 2019, the world’s public has been served an article written by Dusan Stojanovic, “Croatia’s WWII Divisions in the Open as Merkel Visits”, not because of the need to acknowledge and respect WWII and post-WWII victims, no matter which side they were on during the war. The article is obviously served in order to prop-up anti-Croatian propaganda regarding victims without even blinking an eye at even the thought that the numbers of victims pinned to Croatian independence fight during WWII and blown out of every proportion, are in fact wrong and made up to no other end but to vilify the Croatian people who wanted Croatia’s independence as opposed to a communist Yugoslavia.

“The (Ustasha) regime was responsible for sending hundreds of thousand Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croatian anti-fascists to death camps,” writes Stojanovic! He gives no source for this statement in his article. Of course, he gives no credible or factual source because there is none! The fact that there are sources based on research that give an entirely different picture, overwhelmingly discrediting the atrociously concocted estimates he helps spread does not seem to interest him.

Expectedly so, Stojanovic, goes on to quote communist Yugoslavia’s last president and president of Croatia between 2000 and 2010, Stjepan Mesic, as if wanting to justify the horrendous communist crimes against Croats: “Innocent people died in the (WWII) concentration camps, in Bleiburg, the Ustasha army capitulated and they were not innocent victims.” By using this Mesic quote one cannot but conclude that Stojanovic obviously subscribes to the communist depraved thinking that an unarmed, white-flag-waving enemy soldier needs no court ruling to be proven guilty of any crimes, need not be afforded the due treatment as POW, let alone the fact that those murdered at Bleiburg were murdered after WWII had ended! Let alone the fact that both Mesic and Stojanovic and multitudes of pro-communists fail to emphasise that civilians (women, children, elderly) as well as ex-Croatian soldiers were slaughtered in masses, dumped into mass graves and pits, at Bleiburg and along the Way of the Cross, throughout Slovenia and Croatia.

Communist purges by Yugoslav communists occurred because of power-hungry intolerance towards differing political opinions or orientation. All anti-communists were murdered, incarcerated or tortured, forced to flee the country to avoid persecution and ostracising or simply existed as socially inferior citizens of communist Yugoslavia. And Stojanovic has the gall to write about the Ustashe regime as being murderous and fascist. One would expect a fairly balanced article from a source such as Associated Press or New York Times, but no – all we get as a token gesture of balance in this article is this:

“During her pre-election campaign, the leader of the small Independents for Croatia far-right party, Bruna Esih, said Bleiburg represents a ‘symbol of sacrifice, suffering and freedom’”. But then, it’s a poor token gesture of balance because immediately after those words Stojanovic lets the readers know that “many in Croatia disagree.” Forgets conveniently to inform the public that those disagreeing with Bruna Esih’s words are in fact former communists who still hold power in Croatia and in whose interest it is to keep communist crimes under the carpet or to justify them, using fascism as excuse, but in that, proving to us the horrible truth that the communist regime had no tolerance for human rights to varying political allegiances or opinions.

Bruna Esih, President pf Independents for Croatia Party
(Neovisni za Hrvatsku)
Photo: narod.hr

Stojanovic goes on to write and says: “The memorial in Bleiburg, sponsored by Croatia’s parliament, has developed into a festival of right-wing extremism. Anti-fascist groups from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria have requested the event be banned and plan to protest on Saturday. Since last year, Austrian authorities have banned Ustasha flags, their black uniforms and insignia with letter ‘U’ at the gathering, and the local Austrian Catholic Church refused to take part in prayers held in the vast field surrounded by mountains.” He ends his article with this: “Anyone has the right to mourn their loved ones, regardless of who they were or how they ended up,” said Franjo Habulin, head of the Association of Antifascist Fighters of Croatia. “However, no civilised European country has the right to participate in commemorating the fall of fascism.”

Again, Stojanovic fails to mention that the same Franjo Habulin continues to lead events celebrating communist Yugoslavia, which as far as civilised Europe he refers to is concerned, has placed communism at the same level as fascism when it comes to condemnation of totalitarian regimes. Stojanovic does not even bother to tell the public that WWII Croatia was not a country ruled by Fascism in the full sense of its definition; it appears the innuendo that it was fascist suits many a communist regime apologetics where the victims of communist crimes are concerned. While facts tell us that Ustasha regime in WWII (whose prime goal was Independent Croatia) made profound mistakes, both on political and human life level, and imposed terror over groups of people, it was a time of war in which all sides (including the communist whose prime goal was to retain Croatia within Yugoslavia) made similarly profound mistakes and imposed terror over groups of people. Just because one side won the war, and the other didn’t, justifies nothing and especially not the crimes that brought about so many victims.

This weekend is a weekend of large significance for Croatians who have fought for, supported and cherished the independence of Croatia throughout time. It is the weekend that commemorates communist genocide against Croatians, the hundreds of thousands of innocent Croatian victims murdered by the communist Yugoslav partisans and authorities particularly from 14 May 1945 at Bleiburg, dumped tortured or murdered into mass graves along the so-called “Way of the Cross” through Slovenia and Croatia (so far some 1700 mass graves unearthed). While Stojanovic’s numbers of victims of Croatia’s WWII Ustasha regime are politically mounted estimates by communists and are increasingly proven to be wrong through research, the numbers of communist crimes victims are not estimates – the already unearthed hundreds upon hundreds of mass graves of Croatian victims speak loudly for themselves even though their voice is cruelly subdued by communist operatives or their apologetics. Lest we forget Bleiburg! Ina Vukic

Croatia: Mentality Change Equals Croatian National State

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, President of the Republic of Croatia

26 April 2019 (last leg of Grabar-Kitarovic Presidential mandate):

Addressing a special session of Karlovac County Assembly on County Day on Friday, Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said that the most significant measure at the moment needs to be “reforming our mentality,” in order to make the Croatians think and work faster, more resolutely and in a better organised manner. She acknowledged with praise Prime Minister the Andrej Plenkovic’s cabinet for reducing taxes and administration levies, however, she claimed that the “most significant reform we need to implement is to reform our mentality,” so that at all levels, we can think and work more resolutely, faster and in a more organised manner.

1 July 2015 (first leg of Grabar-Kitarovic presidential mandate):

“The key for solutions and for coming out from this economic crisis is in increase of jobs but also in change of mentality, strengthening of accountability and political courage,” said Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the inaugural meeting of her presidential committee for economic affairs in Croatia, “that is what I want to see in Croatia – economic growth, opening of new jobs, increase of employment, creation of new values and new products, export, fiscal discipline and productivity in public administration. We need to change in order to come out of this situation we are in. Solutions exist, it’s just that we must have enough political courage and accountability in order to implement them.”

The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia in the last point within the Historic Foundations section says the following:

“At the historic turning-point marked by the rejection of the communist system and changes in the international order in Europe, the Croatian nation reaffirmed, in the first democratic elections (1990), by its freely expressed will, its millennial statehood and its resolution to establish the Republic of Croatia as a sovereign state.”

About the need for mentality change

Bravo President Grabar-Kitarovic for reiterating the need to change mentality in Croatia but it’s a clear as a sunny day that Croatia’s government and presidential forces have not rejected the communist system (mentality), rejection of which is fortified in the country’s Constitution. With a heavy dose of bitterness I can understand why, after the Homeland War ended and all Croatian Serb-occupied territory liberated (1998), communist presidents Stjepan Mesic and Ivo Josipovic never bothered to even accentuate to the people of Croatia that a change in mentality was needed in order for Croatia to move ahead; in order to rid it of communist mentality. I say communist mentality even if Grabar-Kitarovic did not define it as such because neither she nor anyone else needs to spell this one out.

And now we have the case of four years wasted since the President had stated the obvious – that Croatia needs a change in mentality – also! President Grabar-Kitarovic is still, after four years, telling Croatian people they need a mentality change or reform. I guess when one doesn’t really seem to care about what one says, just as long as it sounds good for political grandstanding, one is not likely to roll ones sleeves up and do something about it. Her repeated expressions of need to change mentality are evidently mechanical – a parroting exercise.

It is a fact that former communist countries have since 1989 (since the fall of Berlin Wall) been going through a painful metamorphosis on a confusing path toward acceptance of the individual responsibilities freedom brings and of acceptance of democratic values. Croatia is no different except for the fact that nothing has been officially done to drive a mentality change. Individual politicians and academics have been constantly addressing the problem of enormous barriers to progress that communist mindset or mentality represent in Croatia. So it’s not as if Grabar-Kitarovic would have been without allies were she truly mindful enough of tackling mentality change.

It is time for change – now!

The debilitating impact of the communist moral and psychological legacy on the socioeconomic transition into democracy means that even after three decades (almost) of formal independence as a sovereign state, Croatia is still struggling to find its way forward. The fact that former highly positioned communist operatives still hold the fort of key socio-economic and political structures has been and is a source of painful discontent and disappointment; a source of apathy that continues to see dismally low voter turnout at elections and a source of staggering brain drain from the country. It is a source, I believe, that drives the much present call for togetherness and unity of all Croatian patriotic political parties these days of election campaigns for the European Parliament. The sad part is that only very, very few of those calling for such unity mention the need to affirm a Croatian national state; a state of Croatian people (with minorities respected). This line of action would among other benefits, return to the forefront the intentions and plights within the massive and united movement all those years ago of late nineteen eighties and early nineties when almost 94% of voters in Croatia voted at a referendum to rid themselves of communist Yugoslavia.

The communist Yugoslavia regime succeeded in penetrating very deeply into many people’s minds and influenced their way of working, doing business and the sphere of public administration. Corruption, bribery, political pressure, nepotism, theft of public property, reliance on borrowed money to pay wages…all were the hallmarks of the communist mindset and mentality. These echoes of the communist Yugoslavia period are still alarmingly evident in Croatia and while the task of getting rid of them, or mellowing them down to insignificance or non-intrusive level, appears difficult, it is definitely not a Sisyphean one! We have seen that in other former communist countries of Europe, where communist regime’s practices were and are taken head on.

The Croatian governments’ inability to coordinate efforts and prioritise challenges of transitioning from communism resulted in failure to implement judicial and pragmatic economic reforms had further exacerbated many social problems. This political chaos supported wild privatisation, so that the major state-owned companies passed into the hands of well-connected apparatchiks, who continued turning the gaps in institutional and legislative control to their own advantage from the start. The wave of privatisations in the 1990s turned post-Yugoslavia Croatia into a society largely run by new-tycoons, where newly emerged elite with enormous wealth and often decisive control over public policy transformed their economic power into political influence to preserve their dominance; to preserve communist mentality. The roots of nepotism and corruption that existed in communist Yugoslavia are alive and kicking in Croatia.

Promotion of Croatian national identity was considered practically a criminal act in communist Yugoslavia, and Croats living abroad who identified themselves as Croats were hunted down one way or another. All the Yugoslav republics were subject to domination by communist bureaucrats, who were sent far and wide to preserve the Josip Broz Tito’s dictatorship even to remote outskirts of the Western World where Croatian nationals who rejected communism had settled, where the communist Secret Police UDBa assassinated scores. Party control became brutal after WWII, and hundreds of thousands Croatians murdered in communist purges. The fear factor contributed vastly and intentionally to the development of unique national behaviour, which in turn influenced ideology and the operations of various organisations and social institutions. Massive corruption, deeply rooted in the public consciousness, has interfered with post-Yugoslavia economic and political systems in Croatia. Without a change in mentality, the very corruption fuelled by political elites, including those holding the judiciary, will be the bullet that will destroy the Croatian peoples’ dream (a human right) for self-determination.

The theory of behavioural economics suggests that national self-awareness is an important pre-requisite for economic decision-making. Western principles, when forcefully applied to the dominant communist (anti-capitalist) mentality, look like expensive make-up on the wrinkled face of reality. Socio-cultural factors that determine successful transformation (from communist mentality) include individualism vs. collectivism and power distance. The former is self-explanatory as to any healthy thriving of economic development; competition and individual responsibility are at the forefront of thriving economies. In societies with a large power distance, professionals are not consulted but are instructed by the power centres; Croatia still suffers much from this communist regime’s ailment because of which some “elites” think they know everything but will still pretend to seek professional advice.

Today, calling oneself a Croatian patriot (usually meaning the one who was and is against communism) or uttering the age-long greeting “For Home Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) exposes one to being branded as fascist or neo-Nazi, and criminally prosecuted or fined for that greeting! Today, wearing or displaying the communist Yugoslavia red five-pointed star, or Yugoslav flag, does not brand one as anything, nor is it punishable by law! Communism and communist mentality is alive and kicking in Croatia.

Yes, Madam President, political courage is needed and you and most of Croatia’s government cabinet members do not have it! And, courage cannot be learned!

All Croatia needs now is for those who have demonstrated political courage by loudly and continuously advocating for changes from the communist mindset to get voted into government. All Croatians need now is to assert their national right that was asserted through the bloody and brutal Homeland War of Serb aggression; to assert their Croatian national state and measure the extent and values of State sovereignty through it. After all, it was the Croatian people by vast majority who voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia, who fought and lost thousands of lives for it and they have earned the right to finish the task of decommunisation. After all, rejection of communisim is embedded in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia.

Decommunisation is the only agent that will bring the mentality change President Grabar-Kitarovic is talking about, albeit unconvincingly as to her determination and courage to implement the processes and socio-political structures needed for it. Ina Vukic

Stunning New Airport In Croatia Gets Proud Nametag: Franjo Tudjman

Zagreb International Airport Terminal Franjo Tudjman Photo: Josip Skof/MZLZ

Zagreb International Airport Terminal
Franjo Tudjman
Photo: Josip Skof/MZLZ

What a fantastic day Monday 30 January in Zagreb. The new Zagreb International Airport has in the lead up to its official opening in the second half of March 2017 finally received its new name in big proud writing: AIRPORT FRANJO TUDJMAN!

 

This is the place where the world greets Croatia and Croatia greets the world. As far as I’m concerned there could not be a better and a more fitting public place in Croatia to be named after the man whose courage, determination and superior political prowess saw him lead the way to the creation of modern independent Croatia, away from the darkness and oppression of communist Yugoslavia. While the repugnant communist die-hard Stjepan Mesic, in his attempts to blacken Croatian efforts towards independence and democracy, began his persistent, underhanded, dishonest, depraved attack against Tudjman as early as 1993 on a worldwide scale that would see Tudjman’s name and his vision for a free Croatia vilified in most painful of ways, this week is a blessing of a proud moment for all who fought for Croatian freedom alongside Tudjman because of that bright writing above the entry to Zagreb’s airport. It was in June 2015 when Tomislav Karamarko as Leader of HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) put forward to the then Social Democrat led government the proposal that the new airport with its new terminal in Zagreb be named Franjo Tudjman, and now here we are: the “nametag” is firmly up above the entrance!

New Airport Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb Croatia Photo: Screenshot

New Airport Franjo Tudjman
in Zagreb Croatia
Photo: Screenshot

The design of the new airport terminal by Branko Kincl, Velimir Neidhardt and Jure Radic was awarded a first prize following an international competition organised by the City of Zagreb in 2008. The airport design comprises a multidimensional approach integrating construction, form, urbanism, ecology and functionality. An important part of the terminal’s architectural design is the fluid form of its roof and the tubular passenger piers sprouting out on each side. This recognisable form will define the new terminal’s identity and its surrounding area. In achieving this form, a new innovative solution was used for the roof structure, comprising a triangular steel grid space truss for the main building and truss arch vault for the piers. The concrete construction of the interior comprises three dilatations of mixed precast TT beam floor slabs, reinforced concrete beams and monolithic floor slabs. Horizontal forces are supported by 4 concrete cores and shear walls. With a gross building area of 65.800 m2 and a starting capacity for 5 million passengers per year, Zagreb airport is to become a major air traffic regional centre.”

Franjo Tudjman among people Photo: www.tudjman.hr

Franjo Tudjman among people
Photo: http://www.tudjman.hr

What a great thing for Croatia and its Homeland War, its independence. To appreciate the even greater than obvious enormity of the importance in the new name of the Zagreb airport we need to remind ourselves of the grave injustice and vilification that have been deliberately caused to the late Franjo Tudjman, the first president of Croatia and the memory of him.

Airport Franjo TUdjman Zagreb Croatia

Airport Franjo TUdjman
Zagreb Croatia

A depraved path to “de-Tudjmanise” Croatia led by Stjepan Mesic had terrible effects and consequences for Croatia as a nation. Tudjman was maliciously branded a radical ultra nationalist who was in the business of reviving Croatia’s WWII Ustashe (called by some as Fascist) nationalist regime. Yugoslavia (whose last president was Stjepan Mesic) consistently portrayed Tudjman as a dangerous nationalist when he emerged with his ideas for an independent Croatia and Mesic later, even as a highly-positioned politician within the independent Croatia itself- persisted in such a portrayal, using lies and political manipulation in order to blacken Tudjman, criminalise Croatia’s defensive Homeland War and strip Croatia of all pride in its bloody battles for freedom and independence. As a result of Mesic’s filthy work even Tudjman’s magnum opus was generally ridiculed or condemned in the West and this is felt still today, despite the many truths about him that command respect and awe towards Croatian history matters he prolifically wrote about.

Franjo Tudjman kisses the Croatian flag in liberated Knin August 6, 1995

Franjo Tudjman kisses the Croatian flag
in liberated Knin
August 6, 1995

 

Often dismissed by Western and some politically left-leaning domestic academics as a loquacious amateur historian and depicted by the Western mainstream as well as pro-Mesic (pro-communist) domestic media as a nationalist and neo-fascist, Tudjman’s past as a dissident was too readily forgotten and his utter and utmost respect for formal, procedural democracy ignored. His almost prescriptive speeches in the Croatian Parliament and everywhere during the early 1990’s, when Croatia was transitioning out of the communist regime and when such speeches were needed, contained a detailed recipe as to how to bring in democracy into the Croatian society. He enumerated things and processes that needed to be done and how they are to be done if democracy was to succeed and communist processes be left to history. But all that increasingly fell on deaf ears as Mesic intensified his attacks against Tudjman, even providing questionable testimonies to the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague in the pursuits to criminalise Tudjman and Croatia’s Homeland War even if that war was defensive.

Franjo TUdjman Airport Zagreb Croatia

Franjo TUdjman Airport
Zagreb Croatia

 

Propaganda was a staple of the media in all and about all former Yugoslav states, and Mesic seemed to find more “friends” to believe his lies than what Tudjman managed with the truth. After Tudjman’s death in 1999 and Mesic becoming Croatia’s president – there was no stopping Mesic in his continued ugly campaign against Tudjman and the Croatian Homeland War or war of Independence. The combination of malicious and false information and faulty but disastrously biased analyses did their work across the world. World’s noted journalists picked up on the efforts to de-Tudjmanise Croatia from within and led the external pursuits of doing harm to Tudjman’s name (and therefore to the name of Croatia). The effort to discredit Tudjman was indeed part of a larger campaign to maliciously portray Croatia as a neo-fascist state and its Croatian citizens as chauvinists who posed a threat to minorities within Croatia. And all they wanted was freedom from communism and independence and for that desire paid in rivers of blood in defending their own lives and country.

Croatia is liberated from Serb occupation August 1995, dr Franjo Tudjman congratulates the forces

Croatia is liberated from Serb occupation August 1995, dr Franjo Tudjman congratulates the forces

It will take almost forever to clear the mud off Tudjman’s name, of Croatia’s name, plastered so cruelly against them but I feel, and I know, that the name of Zagreb’s new airport will create miracles of justice and recovery from darkness and suffering imposed by others. Croatia may, after all, live to see Stjepan Mesic fall into the disgrace and shame he deserves to fall into – and finally free itself completely of its greatest enemy in its pursuits to rid itself of the Yugoslav communist mindset and habits that stifle its progress in democracy and in growing into a thoroughly modern nation. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps.(Syd)

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